5 Shirley Chisholm Quotes that Will Inspire and Empower You


Born in 1924, Shirley Chisholm was many things: nursery school teacher; author; the first Black Congresswoman; and in 1972, perhaps most impressively, the first Black major-party candidate to run for President of the United States (although she had to fight to be included in the primary debates!).

On what would have been Chisholm’s 95th birthday, we remember her legacy of fighting the status quo.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair.”
“Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society because that talent wears a skirt.”
“At present, our country needs women’s idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”
“We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves.”
“Be as bold as the first man or woman to eat an oyster.”

Chisholm spoke often about the opportunities that she and other marginalized people weren’t able to access because they looked different than the norm. Today, we celebrate Chisholm, and continue her fight for representation and equality.

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